By: Paul Hopkins
The All Whites’ search for a win against Llandovery goes on after they were defeated 10-21 at a windswept Church Bank.
The visitors began the brighter side and centre Gareth Rees collected a high ball to set up an attacking platform, but flu half James Davies handed possession back with a clearance kick that was easily dealt with by full back Llew Smith.
Number eight Richard Brooks held onto possession too long on the ground, giving the Whites a penalty, but a high tackle in the build-up saw referee Stephen Allsop reverse his decision.
Swansea were awarded a penalty following a powerful drive by the front eight that forced their counterparts to collapse the set piece. James Davies chipped to touch in the face of a strong wind and centre Kieran Charles powered forward on a crash ball, only for number eight Charlie Davies to become isolated and hold on after the tackle.
Former Drovers prop Greg Cunniffe was penalised for a scuffle with scrum half Lee Rees and fly half Jack Maynard found touch on the twenty-two. Swansea were again guilty of foul play, with the culprit, Cunniffe, yellow carded. Hooker Alun Rees failed to throw the lineout five metres though and gave away a free kick.
A better lineout saw the Drovers’ pack maul 20 metres upfield, but they were held up on the line. Allsop brought play back for a penalty and the home side opted for a scrum eight metres from the line. The Llandovery pack battered the Whites line, but the visitors managed to turn over possession.
The immense pressure on Swansea’s line soon told though when centre Rhodri Jones powered over to score following another maul. Maynard converted.
James Davies’ restart failed to make the 10 metre line, but Rhodri Jones turned hero to villain when his chip ahead sailed horribly out on the full.
Lock Matt Dodd took a lineout inside the Llandovery half and it was the Whites’ turn to maul forward, forcing the home pack to bring it down illegally. A superb chip to the corner by scrum half Matthew Aubrey gave Swansea a lineout but lock Morgan Jones rose high to steal the crucial lineout.
Rhodri Jones powered into the Swansea twenty-two and found prop Dino Dallavalle in support, but a high shot by fellow prop Llyr Green gave Swansea a reprieve.
Dallavalle charged upfield and the home side got quick ball out wide to winger Rhodri Wall, but he was well tackled. Brooks tried to pick up and go but spilled possession forward.
A long kick to touch by Maynard gave the home side an attacking lineout a few metres from the line. A home maul was stopped on the line with an attacking scrum five awarded.
The Llandovery front eight were unable to control the set piece and were driven back, but play became fragmented and flanker Stuart Worrall got a pass out wide for Wall to score on the stroke of half time. Maynard converted.
Half-time:- Llandovery 14 Swansea 0
After the interval full back Max Nagy made a break but Aubrey forced a pass to Charles, who lost possession. Rhodri Jones looked to counterattack, but spilled the ball forward in the tackle.
The Drovers front row were penalised at the scrum and James Davies opened his side’s account with a successful penalty goal.
Wall took a high Aubrey kick as the home side tried to keep ball in hand against the wind. Llandovery gave away a penalty, but James Davies hit the post from a difficult angle.
Smith fumbled a James Davies grubber kick to put his side under pressure inside the twenty-two. The home pack dropped the drop and this time James Davies chipped to the corner.
Dodd collected the lineout and replacement hooker Matthew Moore powered over for a try from an unstoppable rolling maul. James Davies converted.
Worrall charged up to half way and the Whites’ defence crept offside at the breakdown. After a long consultation between referee and touch judge, Cunniffe was issued a second yellow card for foul play.
Maynard made a break from a scrum, but the supporting Brooks became isolated and his pack were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck.
The home side were penalised for holding a player back off the ball but James Davies hit the post with his attempt at goal.
A powerful Drovers maul created a rare attacking platform for the home side, but Lee Rees failed to find the supporting substitute winger Richard Williams and Swansea were able to clear, helped by a disappointing handling error by winger Aaron Warren under no pressure.
A clever Aubrey grubber kick penned Llandovery inside their own twenty-two. Replacement lock Huw Sutton stole the lineout, but play was brought back for a Swansea scrum. Substitute flanker Duane Eager looked to attack but was penalised for holding on after the tackle.
In the closing stages Richard Williams made a break on the wing as Llandovery looked to attack, and a superb break by Rhodri Jones sent Smith over for a well taken try to seal victory. Centre Kristian Jones converted.
Full-time:- Llandovery 21 Swansea 10
Tries:- Rhodri Jones (24), Rhodri Wall (40+5), Llew Smith (80+1)
Cons:- Jack Maynard (25, 40+6), Kristian Jones (80+2)
Tries:- Matthew Moore (58)
Cons:- James Davies (59)
Pens:- James Davies (49)
Yellow cards:- Greg Cunniffe (17, 62)
Red cards:- Greg Cunniffe (62)
Venue:- Church Bank
Weather:- Light cloud, 9C
Man of the match:- Rhodri Jones
15 Llew Smith
14 Rhodri Wall (rep: Richard Williams 70)
13 Kristian Jones
12 Rhodri Jones
11 Aaron Warren
10 Jack Maynard (rep: Craig Woodall 70)
9 Lee Rees (rep: Dafydd Land 80+3)
1 Dino Dallavalle (rep: Jamie Hughes 56)
2 Alun Rees (rep: Garan Williams 78)
3 Llyr Green (rep: Berian Watkins 70)
4 Rhys Jones (rep: Lewis Ellis-Jones 70)
5 Morgan Jones (rep: Osain Davies 47)
6 Joe Powell
7 Stuart Worrall
8 Richard Brooks ©
16 Berian Watkins
17 Jamie Hughes
18 Osain Davies
19 Lewis Ellis-Jones
20 Garan Williams
21 Craig Woodall
22 Richard Williams
23 Dafydd Land
15 Max Nagy (rep: Phil Jones 80+6)
14 Ryan Griffiths (rep: Alun Dew 17-27, 63)
13 Gareth Rees
12 Kieran Charles (rep: Rhys Williams 80+6)
11 Ben Cambriani
10 James Davies
9 Matthew Aubrey
1 Rhys Davies (rep: Dean Howells 77)
2 Owen Thomas (rep: Matthew Moore 41)
3 Greg Cunniffe
4 Matt Dodd
5 Jay Williams © (rep: Huw Sutton 41)
6 Rhys Thomas (rep: Duane Eager 73)
7 Callum Bowden
8 Charlie Davies
16 Matthew Moore
17 Dean Howells
18 Alun Dew
19 Huw Sutton
20 Duane Eager
21 Chris Morgans
22 Phil Jones
23 Rhys Williams